Spring is just around the corner it’s true. But the recent snow means the ground is still sodden and turnout is still restricted for many horses.
Team Animalife’s Vicky Strutton is from Guildford and owns the beautifully marked Sound Barrier (or Bill as he’s known at home). Bill is a 19-year-old Hackney x Cob who was bred and purchased from travellers at less than 18 months old having already been broken to drive in central London and covered several mares.
To stop Bill getting bored during the winter she chops up carrots and hide them in his haynet, leading to hours of fun. “I’ll also create ‘vegetable strings’ from baler twine threaded through carrots, apples, swede, and cabbage, which gives him variety and takes longer to munch through. I hang them vertically in his stable doorway (he has a full door with a chain across so he can also keep an eye on what’s going on in the yard). He’s a big fan of his ‘Jimmy Ball’ (Uncle Jimmy’s Hangin’ Balls), which is a mixture of pressed seeds and cereals stuck together with molasses and about the size of a large grapefruit.
Horses can’t get a proper bite hold on it, so they have to lick it. Bill’s got the fastest tongue in Surrey when he has his Jimmy ball!”